Thursday, September 20, 2012

Intervening in Reading Difficulties with Adolescents

I am experimenting.

At a school site where I am consulting I have been hired to work with middle school students--the majority of whom are unable to access the necessary skills, strategies and dispositions to read with power.  These students have met with significant failure and many have experienced retention.  I spent  8 hours yesterday teaching one-to-one while their teacher observed. Between students we conferred as I made notes about each child. During this process, I began to use my iPad and not surprising, the results were significant.  Young teens with very faulty alphabetic knowledge began building item knowledge as they worked with a few apps. The students' intensity (no ADHD in sight as they focused keenly for 30 to 45 minutes) demonstrated a few things:

  1. The students met with actual academic success (something in short supply given their school histories).
  2. They built item knowledge necessary to read.
  3. They revealed a brightness and capacity to learn that teachers often have not seen. Revealing students' intellectual promise is the most critical work we need to do.

I will be posting more as I learn.  The beginning impressions though are rather positive.

Curious if others have used the iPad as an intervening reading tool with severely behind middle school readers.  Would love to hear from you.


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